Championship Series: European Week Five Preview

Guest Post by RixBT. Stats comes from Team Elo Ratings can be found here

The last week of League Play for the European RLCS teams is here, and nothing has been determined yet. With every team still having a chance to finish in the top six (or better), this weekend’s matches seem to promise a thrilling end to the season.

Match 1

Method (5-1) vs exceL (3-2)

  • Two teams with similar offensive numbers, both Method (2.24 goals per game) and exceL (2.26 goals per game) come to the final week qualified for the Playoffs, looking to better their seeding for the regional finals.
  • This matchup also features two of Europe’s best shooting teams, with Method averaging a 30.6 percent shooting percentage and exceL averaging a 30.7 percent shooting percentage.
  • As usual, exceL‘s main man, Nielskoek will be a key player in the match. He’s currently the top striker in Europe (1.00 goals per game), but Nielskoek (and the rest of exceL) struggled against PSG last week. Will they be able to take down Europe’s second place team?

Elo’s prediction: Method are the favorites in this matchup, with a 68 percent chance of winning the series.

Match 2

Mock-it Esports (2-3) vs Team Secret (0-5)

  • Mock-it will try to forget last week’s results (losses to Method and Gale Force) as soon as possible and a win over Team Secret would certainly help. Winning the match will guarantee a playoff spot for Mockit, despite what the rest of the field does afterwards.
  • Team Secret comes to the final week carrying a heavy losing streak. In addition to not winning a single series, Secret has lost their last 11 games in a row (last win 0-1 vs GFE on Week 1). Since then, the team has conceded over 40 goals.

Elo’s prediction: Elo thinks very poorly of Team Secret (11 straight losses will do that), and Mock-it is heavily favored as a result. Paschy90 and crew are given a 93.1 percent chance of winning the series.

Match 3

PSG eSports (6-0) vs Team Envy (1-4)

  • Since the introduction of the current format back in Season 2, no team ever has gone undefeated through an entire League Play season. If PSG wins this match against Team Envy, the trio of Ferra, Bluey, and Chaussette45 would set a new milestone in RLCS history, beating the previous best-record of 6-1, set by Northern Gaming (6-1 in series, 20-10 in games) back in Season 3. A victory over Team Envy gets PSG to 21 wins. A loss will either tie them or place them below Northern Gaming’s 20 victory season.
  • Helped by Flipsid3’s losses last week, Team Envy enters the final week with hopes of saving what has been a disappointing season. The team in general will have to step up their shot effectiveness, (18.30% currently, way under the region average of 26.36%), if they hope to have a chance against PSG’s defense (ranked 1st in the region).

Elo’s prediction: PSG are definitely the favorites in this match, as Team Envy just hasn’t come close to looking like a top-tier team this season. Elo gives PSG a 74.7 percent chance of winning the series.

Match 4

Flipsid3 Tactics (1-5) vs Team Secret (0-5)

  • After two tough weeks for Flipsid3 where they couldn’t win a single match, this last match, against Team Secret, could help them save their season. A win (and Envy getting defeated in their respective matches) could save F3 from the Relegation Playoffs, and even give them a chance to qualify for a spot in the International Finals.
  • Despite averaging more goals per series than teams like exceL or Mockit, Flipsid3 has been struggling to net those goals in the finals games of every series. They currently hold a 2-4 record in Game 4s and have lost all three Game 5s that have played so far.
  • The match is set to be dominated by F3 offensive pressure, which may help Team Secret’s FlamE on his run for Savior of the Season. He’s currently averaging 2.06 saves per game (leader is exceL’s Nielskoek, with 2.21).

Elo’s prediction: Look for FlipSid3 to emerge victorious in this matchup – Elo gives them a 90.1 percent chance of winning the series.

Match 5

Mock-it Esports (2-3) vs exceL (3-2)

  • A matchup of similar defenses, both Mock-it and exceL average 4.95 saves per game (tied for 3rd in EU), and both allow a high number of shots against (over 8.50 shots against per game). This also reflected in each team’s main savior, Nielskoek and Fairy Peak, both in the Top 5 for saves made in the season.
  • And exactly those two players, exceL’s Nielskoek and Mockit’s Fairy Peak can be appointed as the key pieces for their respective teams. Both players are leading the overall goal participation table, with Fairy Peak having participated in 78.1 percent of Mock-it’s goals and Nielskoek factoring in 74.4 percent of exceL’s goals.
  • If the everything falls into place, we could easily see an instant rematch of this match, as the two teams could face off next week in the regional finals. It would be a similar situation to the one that Flipsid3 and Resonant Esports (now Method) were in last season (facing in last week of League Play and the following week in Playoffs). Last season, F3 lost the League Play match, but they were able to recover and eliminate Resonant in 7 games.

Elo’s prediction: This is definitely one of the closer matches of the day, as Elo only gives Mock-it a 57.7 percent chance of winning the series.

Match 6

Gale Force Esports (4-2) vs Team Envy (1-4)

  • The last match of this season’s League Play will feature two teams with two different realities, although their expectations were almost the same at the beginning of the season. Gale Force will go into the match knowing Method’s results and therefore knowing if they still have a shot at clinching a Top 2 spot, while Team Envy will seek a final victory in order to grab a last spot in the Top 6, giving them a berth in the Regional Playoffs the next week.
  • Currently, GFE is the team which scores more goals per series (10.83) than any other in EU, almost doubling Team Envy in that department (5.60). The difference is equally big when it comes to shooting percentage (30.60% of goals per shots for GFE, 18.30% for Envy).
  • If Team Envy wants to beat Gale Force, they will need all three players to step up, specially Deevo who has lowered his last season Goal Participation percentage, from 60.9 percent (Top 10 of last season League Play) now to a 46.4 percent, the third lowest in the region.

Elo’s prediction: Gale Force Esports are the favorites here, with a 75.6 percent chance of taking down Team Envy.